www.CityVoice.co brings you this neat summary of QC Gareth’s arguments in Court today against Chris Packham‘s case (9 Jul 2020).
CV has been battered by hundreds of tweets lambasting HS2 on every imaginable ground, and aims basically to reflect public opinion, always supporting local feeling and the planning underdog.
In counterpart HS2 has issued a few, bland, tweets full of those mysterious corporate statements that you somehow think are unprovable having been composed by a tight-fisted PR department.
In contrast the outcry from individuals risking the police and thugs to protect woods and trees, or howling that they have been deprived of their equity, assets, property, lifetime homes etc, often complaining of non-payment (!!) are cries from the heart of individuals – typical underdog statements of those suddenly feeling oppressed – what www.CityVoice.co and @CityVoicEd exist to amplify, to give them their proper deserved sound-volume against mass-power.
Finally, in support of HS2, here we have an almost-coherent-sounding group of arguments that are therefore worth airing and hearing: at least something that sounds closer to logic, defending the behemoth.
>> SUMMARY by Matt Stratford #ROSI4LEADER
“I thought I’d summarise @GarethDennis video taking down Chris Packham’s case against HS2 that’s doing the rounds on YouTube. Here goes… (THREAD 1/n)
|Claim||QC Gareth’s reply|
|HS2 won’t be carbon neutral until well into the next century.||Only if you look at HS2 in isolation, where actually considering the main benefits to the railway network as a whole. So this is demonstrably false. It’s a complete misreading of the numbers. 2/n|
|Also to give you a sense of scale, the entire HS2 project emissions is about equivalent to a single month of UK road transport emissions. 3/n|
|HS2 won’t facilitate shift from air travel and will create high speed connections to airports.||The trains that kill most capacity are the fast ones that don’t stop anywhere. They make other trains have to slow down, get out of the way, and so on. 4/n
Putting the fast trains on their own lines to free up capacity is the whole point. Now you can’t turn airports off overnight, but what you can do is ensure that the domestic leg of any multi-hop flight can instead by done by train. 5/n
There are over 170 flights a day into London from various Scottish belt airports alone. That’s not even including Birmingham, Leeds, etc. Those internal flights shouldn’t exist. 6/n
|HS2 will destroy enormous amounts of ancient world and sites of scientific interest.||This is a made-up claim based on a worst case scenario analysis using a methodology that no one has ever used before. 7/n|
|HS2 is already massively over budget.||No, it isn’t. The budget hasn’t even been completely set yet. 16/n|
|HS2 will cost well over £100bn.||Again, no it isn’t [sic]. 17/n|
|(In fairness, a flustered Gareth then talks about the New Deal of the 1950s, he means the 1930s. Point still stands, it is obviously not “the most expensive job creation scheme in history”.) 18/n|
|HS2 is already obsolete.||HS2 will be the most modern railway operating in the world, not only technologically but also in terms of its integration into the wider transport network. It is a farcical claim. 19/n|
|HS2 is an elitist project for business people. Covid-19 has made the market disappear.||Have you been on a train? All kinds of people riding on them. It frees up capacity on the existing railway. In the timescale of HS2, Covid-19 is a blip. 20/n
If you look at the data, flexible working means more people traveling long distance. Living further out, new friendships. In any case, only 1 in 4 people can actually work from home. Transport demand is not going away. 21/n
|Rather than spend money on HS2, spend it on broadband for all.||Good luck sending your mum over broadband. In any case, it’s a false dichotomy, there is no such either/or. Do both. 22/n
|Let’s invest in more local transport…||HS2 IS the local train revolution enabler. See how many trains pass through places on the main line without stopping. There are other things that need to happen, but it is the key to 2x or 3x capacity we already have. 23/n|
|Communities have been destroyed by HS2.||Where? Show me one. No evidence, again. 24/n
HS2 IS the local train revolution enabler. See how many trains pass through places on the main line without stopping. There are other things that need to happen, but it is the key to 2x or 3x capacity we already have. 23/n
|HS2 is not listening to people.||The change list for HS2 responding to local concerns and pressure groups is enormous. It’s a matter of public record. 25/n
(I should add here that Gareth is a railway engineer with considerable expertise in his field, who is not working on HS2.) 26/n
|HS2 is anti-environment.||Let’s be clear, given what HS2 gives us in terms of rail capacity, this statement is essentially coming out against rail. That’s so dangerous given UK rail is vital to getting people out of cars and reducing carbon emissions. 27/27|
Final word: (by – Matt Stratford #ROSI4LEADER)
Gareth’s claims, not mine (though obviously since I’ve taken the trouble to write up, I find this case persuasive). But as my bio says, science not intuition, I’m open to correction, bring evidence.
5:54 PM · Jul 9, 2020·Twitter
Retweets and comments
@NeilGinScotland: Great summary. Look I see climate change data all the time at work. It’s scary but I also know transport is now the biggest CO2 emitter. Only people out of their cars is going to do it. And most shift needs more capacity which our existing lines don’t have. Simple.